Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Medora has been our home for the last three months, and we've come to discover that tourist towns are meant to be visited, not lived in. As employees, we live in the same dorm, eat at the same three places, work together and generally occupy the 4x6 grid of blocks that make up this town. We all know each other just a little too well, nothing goes unnoticed. Not even our blogs are a secret connection to the outside world, they are googleable and plenty of people in town read them (hey guys!).
This town does have it's charm though, it's charm and it's quirks and it's weird little moments that may or not be noticed by the visitor just passing through. Abby and I needed to be reminded of the good, share the bad, and embrace the weird, so here are a few random things about this town:
1. There has been a thief in town for quite some time.
2. Did you know that there is an oil boom in North Dakota right now? Well there is, and all the hotels are filled with oil workers. If you plan on driving through North Dakota on your way to somewhere else, or you plan to vacation here, you better call way ahead and make reservations, or you will not find a hotel with open rooms. Weird? yes.
3. We have 3 hotels in town, the Rough Riders (which is very very nice) the Badlands, which is your average motel. And then there is the Bunkhouse. It looks like a bunch of portable class rooms split up into 8 rooms each. They were built for the last oil boom, and well...
4. Medora has a queen. her name is Shelia. Whenever she comes to the Musical they announce that the queen of Medora is there and stands and does a cute little wave.
5. Our mayor wears knee high boots, a white button up shirt, and a trench coat for everyday life. Also his hair is epic. This photo is from the 4th of july parade, but it's not too far off from regular life.
6. Motorcyclists love Medora. Mostly really old ones with trike things.
7. There is a train that drives around the streets of Medora and gives tours. It's called "lil smokey" and quite fittingly, it smokes terribly the majority of the time. It quite popular too. But really, a train in the middle of the street? It doesn't help with the tourists inability to drive.
8. If you see the police pulled over talking to someone, there is no way of discerning if they are just chatting or if there is something going down. There are 3 cops in town and everyone knows all of them.
9. The boys dorm used to be a stable, and most of them don't have windows in their tiny rooms.
10. During the day, the town is a bustling hub of activity. Around 8:00, everything shuts down, most people go up to the musical and it becomes somewhat akin to a ghost town.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Last Wednesday we finally toured through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park with our friend Mary. The weather was great and it was real sunny. There is a 36 mile loop through the south unit, taking you past the Scoria Point Overlook, Wind Canyon, and the Burning Coal Vein, and countless prairie dog towns. Now there are tons of hikes we want to explore out there.
The photo credit for this first one goes to Mary Egstad. Isn't it butte-iful?
We kept an animal count so we could keep track of how many awesome wild animals we spotted. Here goes:
-white tail deer: 6
-rattlesnakes: 1 (dead and smashed)
-wild horses: 7 (3 of which were colts) and 1 herd
-buffalo: 6 and 2 herds
-prairie dogs: millions.
We had gotten about halfway through the park before we saw any wild horses and Emily was doubting that they even existed. Finally we rounded a corner and on the right side of the road there were 4 horses and 3 little colts just hanging out and eating and on the left there were 3 big buffalo eating grass and rolling in the dirt. We slowly and quietly got out of the car and sneaked toward the horses but they just looked at us and kept eating (but we made sure to keep the car between us and the buffalo.) It was a total succeed.
But by the time we were on our way out of the park, it was starting to cloud over and the sky was looking a little menacing.
Bad news to end the day: The musical was supposed to open that night. It got rained out and we were drenched. The west did not kick up it's heels on Wednesday June 2.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
It’s up a winding and very, very steep hill near the site of the musical (which starts on Wednesday, get excited!). We visited it after work on Thursday night, it has a lovely view and seemingly random placement of graves.
I guess it’s self-explanatory.
WILLIAM RILEY LUFFCEY
Killed in an argument on June 26, 1883, Marquis deMores had purchased land for his cattle, then closed old hunting trails. A dispute ensued. The Marquis was tried and acquitted 3 times. Many years later a man confessed to the killing. His identity has never been disclosed due to his family’s wishes.
And this is the entire town of Medora, as viewed at night from the butte.
Also, Abby has a funny work story:
Yesterday at work in the call center I received what has been recorded as the strangest call of this season. I answered and the person on the other end of the line said that they needed to rent a camp site, but unfortunately our campground system was down. He claimed loudly that he couldn't hear me and passed me off to someone else in the group. This second person told me that they were looking for a place to keep their 14 mules and 4 wagons, as they were following Custer's trail and they needed to stop here because this is the way he went. Fortunately, he told me, they just needed a place to keep them because they had their own feed and a fence to put up around them. After my manager and the rest of the call center crew were baffled, we decided to transfer them to the boarding stables where hopefully they could help them better. I realized afterward that I should have said something along the lines of "Well fortunately if you're following Custer's trail, you won't need reservations for your return trip."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
She’s a beauty.
Our weekend was full of movies, 21 jumpstreet, good food and sleeping. On Sunday afternoon we took a little trip down the Enchanted Highway, and let me tell you, those 32 miles were full of enchantment. And sunshine and pictures and wide open plains. Visit our other blog, www.ndinstituteofcontemporaryart.blogspot.com
Here's a teaser to get you excited:
We checked into Medora around 3 in the afternoon, filled out some paperwork, took a van tour of the town in the pouring rain, and got our room assignment. During check in, some of the returners were talking about a kid from last who was described as follows: “you remember him, he worked in the stable and it was thing to wear his pants inside his boots even though everyone told him not to.” Uhhh… you’re not supposed to wear your pants inside your boots? I think we might not be in Chicago anymore.
Our room is a quaint little cinderblock rectangle right across the hall from the bathroom. It has bunk beds, closets with doors, 2 end tables, a desk and a chair and a sink with a mirror and medicine cabinet. It’s a pretty cute little room.:
Tuesday we both started working.
(emily) I started in the Rough Rider Gift Shop/Corner Corral at 9 in the morning. We sell fancy food things and dishes and garden stuff and western statues and clocks and expensive clothes and jewelry. And a lot of papyrus. There is so much bad typography in that place. It’s a pretty big store, one that requires a map to know where all the lights are that need to be turned on and off. It was a slow day. It was cold and rainy and windy and it’s not quite the start of the Medora season yet, so not many tourists are around. It should pick up in the next week or so.
(abby) I had training all day and it was one of the more overwhelming experiences in my life. It looks like we have to learn 3 separate booking and ticketing systems for working in the call center and hotel front desk. Basically for my job I need to know everything about Medora, no pressure. It seems like it could be fun, aside from the headset and basement cubicle. Fortunately, everyone I'm working with is really nice and I really like the events I will be promoting!
It is finally warming up and the sun is coming out, so we should be able to check out the National Park soon. It’s a beautiful place.